Programming Note: I’m in Philadelphia this weekend, taking part in an Ars Nova Workshop Composer Portrait series on alto saxophonist-composer Tim Berne. Originally I was scheduled for a pre-concert talk on Friday, but my jury service has shuffled the deck a bit. So now it’s 6:30 p.m. Saturday. I’ll be speaking with Steve Byram, the influential graphic designer who has worked closely with Berne for years.
One reason I was booked for Friday: that’s when Berne and the Collide Saxophone Quartet (with guitarist Marc Ducret) will perform music from The Sevens, a 2002 release on New World Records. I wrote liner notes for that release -- note: the link goes to a PDF -- and somehow, reading now, they don’t make me cringe. (Not much, at least.) I now heed a general house-policy prohibition against liner notes, but I’m glad I had the chance to tackle these.
Back to this weekend. Saturday looks to be every bit as engaging, with one set apiece by Berne’s new band, Adobe Probe, and Philadelphia-based pianist Matt Mitchell. I haven’t heard the music for either of these settings, but I did enjoy a recent interview conducted by David Adler for the online magazine of the Philadelphia Music Project.
Where, you might ask, is Steve Byram in all this? Pretty much everywhere. And I expect our conversation to range from visual aesthetics to musical details, encompassing the considerable overlap therein. Here, warm up with an image gallery at Screwgun Records.